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Online Auction Sellers Settle Movie Piracy Claims

Online Auction Sellers Settle Movie Piracy Claims

Settlements mark successful launch of Civil Anti-piracy Actions in NZ

The New Zealand Federation Against Copyright Theft (NZFACT) today announced settlements reached with 14 online auction sellers who were selling pirated optical discs of a wide range of NZFACT member company movie titles via New Zealand auction websites.

The pirate auction sellers each paid a settlement sum and agreed to cease and desist from all illegal sales of pirated movies and provided NZFACT with all materials infringing member company copyrights.

The settlements followed the March launch of the “Tactics Against Auction Piracy” (TAP) programme in New Zealand. Under the TAP programme, developed by the Motion Picture Association (MPA) in response to the growing impact of Internet auction piracy on the movie industry and individual copyright holders around the world, NZFACT and the MPA bring civil actions against online auction sellers found to be selling pirated videocassettes and DVDs over the Internet.

A recent global study examining the impact of motion picture piracy and consumer behavior has underscored the importance of intellectual property to economic growth worldwide and revealed the extent of damage caused by copyright theft to creative industries all around the world.

The study, undertaken by independent research firm LEK Consulting on behalf of the MPA, shows that Internet piracy cost the film industry globally US$7.1 billion of potential revenue in 2005.

The investigations indicated that these 14 traders alone sold more than 10,000 counterfeit DVDs via auction during the past 12 months.

“These settlements demonstrate that copyright holders can and will vigorously defend their property, and that there is a price to pay for copyright infringement,” said Tony Eaton, Director of Operations, NZFACT.

“Worldwide, intellectual property theft is the biggest threat to creativity today. The war against piracy will be won through our efforts to educate consumers that intellectual property theft is just theft.”


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